Everything was based on debt. The break from the Gold Standard in 1972 was done because the United States no longer had the reserves necessary to support the global demand for US Dollars. The entire decade was a bank run as the US and the world adjusted to the change in monetary system, one we had not seen since the debasement of the Roman Empires currency two thousand years before. The foundation of everything was a promise that no matter how crazy things got, the Federal Government would always pay on the treasury bonds, with interest. For decades, we hunted for investments that would give us a return on our capital that was higher than the constant increase in prices. Some people threw their value into the Treasury Bonds, not recognizing that they were the foundation of the decay, not the secure foundation of a portfolio as they had been promoted and advertised for hundreds of years. Other nations dispensed with the circus of raising a debt ceiling, but the politicians used the clowns to keep the people both entertained and at each other’s throats every few years.
Bitcoin and Ethereum changed everything. No one ever discovered who Satoshi Nakamoto was, and that’s probably a good thing. Some would have worshiped the Author as a God, while others would have done anything to destroy whoever or whatever had dispelled the illusion that had caused so much disruption during the early to mid 21st century. But by the year 2030 it was obvious that nothing would or could go back to the way it had been.
Nations dissolved, some violently and some peacefully. Once the supply chain started using IPFS and tokens to manage data storage and value transfer, the transparency of who was leaching off the transaction costs made it easy to trace the source of products, services and true costs. The companies that embraced this transparency and the public outcry that resulted became global players with customer and citizen loyalty that rivalled or even exceeded the team spirit of international sports.
There are two main components to the new monetary asset landscape. The first is of course Bitcoin itself, representing the sum total of all monetary and financial value of the entire Sol system. Other digital assets exist and have their loyal users, but they are all priced and freely exchanged with Bitcoin so they are simply side chains of little consequence to most people. The second component is Ethereum, which maintained the Proof of Stake protocol after the transition to 3.0 but is now the system wide transaction currency upon which 90% of all commerce takes place. It took until after 2025 for Vitalik and the other developers to recognize the best functional capital design and how it relates to population, but when they finally launched into the global transformational phase, the world was ready and waiting. Going from a few hundred million coins to 8 billion over a few years caused the perceived price to fall temporarily, but the result of bringing every human on the planet into the same monetary and transaction system was transformative in ways nobody could have predicted.
Now there is no division between the investor class and anyone else, because everyone can take advantage of the same opportunities. Of course there is inequality, but there is also a much better understanding of how the system operates and how to build our financial foundation. Those who felt the transition the most were the middle men, the gate keepers, the high priests of finance who were constantly trying to advertise their expertise in reading charts, graphs and technical details that kept people away. Some of the fancy tools they used are still around and people have fun in the metaverse building more detailed models and 4D graphics renderings of this or that period of history. The data is out there if you want to spend time on it. Have fun.
When I said everyone, I meant it. There are almost 10 billion people on or around Earth now. And each and every one of us is known, respected and provided for by the systems we have put into place. You can have as much or as little privacy as you want, we kept the heart and soul of the old 4th amendment to the original US Constitution. Everyone is secure in their effects and affairs, and the only way to break through the shields that you choose to have in place is via a warrant issued by a registered governance institution. Laws still exist, and they are enforced by market supported agencies in full public transparency. The media continues to keep watch and they tell our stories, but these days when something is revealed as a problem action commences immediately to try and solve that problem. No more waiting for months or years. No more endless debates that divide and conquer while those who stand to gain from the chaos count the gains. Data is collected from live feeds and historical records instantly, tokens are staked as votes on the table of justice and decisions are made to repair what was broken and prevent future harm. The Native tribe mantra of looking back seven generations and looking forward another seven generations is the core of our justice system. All in public view and review.
We all have our favorite sectors, industries, companies and geographical divisions, and now we can capitalize on them, going from broad sectors or regions down to the most narrowly focused projects. Want to invest in Africa or South America as they continue their meteoric rise? There are dozens of tokens that track those entire regions. Is there a specific solar project at a specific latitude and longitude that is supporting a family member back home? You can buy the token of that solar farm and capture a fraction of the mining rewards collected by those panels, all while helping to provide a constant income stream for your family though the shared staking service. And your family back home can stake some fraction of their capital into any project on the planet or around it.
We no longer need brokers. Defi won, hands down. The transparency that the old regulators demanded was always there, built into the systems from the very beginning. What was missing was not people looking over our shoulders, but people looking over THEIRS. And not just some people, but all of the people. Full public transparency shook the trees and the earthquake caused a great deal of loss. Dynasties fell, and new ones rose in their place. The billionaires who were actually doing the right thing we’re rewarded, and the others disappeared. The bill in the US Congress to make this happen was controversial, but in the end inevitable. Nobody wanted to be seen on the side of secrets when it was those secrets that were burning the world around them.
The Wall Street Historical Museum still maintains the facade of the buildings, and there are even some people who stage reenactments of the biggest trading days over the past few centuries. Black Friday in 1929 is a popular one. Gold Thursday players often seem like they are starting in one of the ancient Greek tragedies when they recount the fall of the value of the metals commodity market on the day that the first kg of Gold was mined on an asteroid. Visiting these historical places today reminds me of visiting Salem, Massachusetts and visiting the museum of Witchcraft. Old spooks designed to scare children and keep them in line.
There were people on both sides of the old left and right divisions who wasted years and tons of capital trying to convince us that the only way for us to survive the coming apocalypse was to follow the sound of their pipes and ignore all others. Those who allowed themselves to be swept along in that tide eventually drowned, thankfully not taking the rest of us with them. And this kind of noise came from all sides, until they were finally silenced by the overwhelming evidence against their poorly thought out positions. Free market was always a lie, and socialism lost the battle that all -isms eventually succumb to, losing the core of their meanings in conflicting and contradictory definitions that are nowhere close to reality. There are parts of the core messages from each side that retain meaning, but using the two sides as weapons against our fellow man will hopefully never be seen again. It said a lot about the future of our civilization when both sides decided to just give up the advertising bonanza that was costing them so much and join the rest of us who had given up on them decades earlier.
Because the truth is that we don’t live in a burned out post destruction wasteland. We live in paradise, at least when compared to the old days of the industrial revolution. Climate change is on the retreat as CO2 levels come back down. Biodiversity will take centuries to recover, but we now know enough about what we have and we are all dedicated to preserving it. The Great Recycling initiative succeeded when the United Nations signed off on the tokenization strategy. Planting trees and cleaning beaches were no longer just moves of desperation or attempts by small groups of inadequately funded but dedicated believers, they are a well supported enterprises employing millions of people all over the globe. Not only in urban areas where people lived where they could see the trash all around them, but under the grass of all of the landfills, inside and at the bottom of lakes and streams, under the surface of the ocean, in the air above us. We thought that this would be AI cleaning up after us, but why depend on an AI system when there are billions of people looking for a way to contribute, to earn a living and to save and stake capital for their families and their future while improving and repairing the world they live in today.
The metaverse was not a retreat from the world, it was a training ground. If people could and did spend thousands of dollars to joy ride a rover on the surface of the Moon, why not build a rover that could be remotely piloted to pick up trash along a city street, with tokenized compensation based on how much you and your rover could collect. Transparency guaranteed so nobody could claim your share of the work. Bird watchers could follow their favorite song birds via drones that were tiny and silent, collecting migration data that scientists paid well for. Land management was no longer limited to ranchers and cowboys, they could now employ dozens of helpers who used data collected from any number of sources to watch every member of the flock and keep them safe, all from the comfort of home unless you really wanted to be in a saddle.
The landfills became prime mining areas for the basics of glass, metals, and organics. Everything was collected, broken down and then sold off as components to industrial players who made good use of the material. Why spend the money to mine raw which cost so much thanks to global discouragement regulations when there was a well equipped army of diggers operating independently or in teams to reuse what humanity had spent the last 300 years tossing into waste streams?
Even in space people are cooperating globally to prevent the Kessler syndrome by hunting down and collecting the nuts and bolts that had been lost in orbit for a hundred years. The advantage here was that the major players pay a premium to hunters who work tirelessly to clear their orbital paths.
These things had always been on the drawing board but the problem was that nobody could figure out a way to “pay for them” in the ancient tax and spend government financed fiat nightmare. It’s almost like people did not understand what capital was in the first place, let alone how to use it, accumulate it or save it effectively. With tokenization, all of that changed. Suddenly things like the Plastic Bank, which was a proof of concept, showed that everyone across the globe could understand that cleaning their world could be done and that the effort involved had value that could be and would be rewarded. At first it was municipal governments working alongside private charities that launched the concept to try and deal with the massive amounts of recycling and waste generated by the Amazon driven delivery economy. Got a box of a certain size in good condition? There is a market for that. Have things that you need to get rid of? Whatever it is, there is a market for it. And when everything is on an open blockchain, the risk of fraud goes away almost entirely. Confirm a pickup with a scan of a pre-generated code, and everything from the transfer of value to the data management of the supply chain takes place behind the scenes automatically.
It might still take a few days to get something from one part of a continent to another, but just like the IPFS system itself, content based supply chains can identify the closest source for what you need and can get it to you as quickly as a pickup can happen. It doesn’t matter in the cloud who you are or who you are buying from, it’s all just cloud layers. Sure the big players like Amazon still get a lot of that business, but when the layer 2 apps came out and people could indicate that they wanted to avoid this or that source for products and distribution and it no longer delayed their purchases, these big companies got on board with the demands for reform really fast. The alternative was to allow those layer 2 apps to eat their market share and make them not just invisible but utterly destroyed.
The challenge of trust has been with us for thousands of years, and with tokenization it became an understandable and trackable resource. China, before it collapsed, tried implementing a social score system that provided positive rewards for good behavior and negative rewards for bad behavior. But their citizens didn’t agree to the subjective identification of good and bad, and the black market explosion caused the entire system to self destruct much like what had happened on the Soviet Union a half century earlier. When trust is recognized as a commodity resource in the metaverse and people no longer have trust in government institutions, it is the institutions that collapse. The Blockchains had made it ever more costly to maintain the firewall anyway, so that was erased when Web 3.0 started to show such incredible returns on a global investment scale.
Putting a value on carbon in a global market was a dream for some and a nightmare for others. So many systems designed in the 20th century were dedicated to making sure that one company, one country or even one person gained while the others lost. We wasted so much time and it cost us all so much. The US Dollar seemed like a good idea at the time, but all it took was the launch of the OIL cryptocommodity for everything to collapse. Being able to buy and sell oil using the token meant that you no longer needed permission from the banks. The other major commodities followed with their own tokens, and then services followed. Gas prices became less and less meaningful as the EV market replaced ICE vehicles, and with the decentralized and global market for electricity generation energy prices stabilized and became universal. And the banks no longer mattered. But the real change came when the CARB token was launched with the goal of not just reducing the amount of carbon we put into the atmosphere but to literally pull it out of both the air and the oceans.
Value itself is a civilization based resource, so as soon as the markets told the UN which way the wind was going to blow them, they decided to finance the creation of the token design that would save us. Nations pledged capital into the pool. The staking rewards from that pool went back to the countries that had invested into the token, along with a portion going to buy the reserve asset. Some of these rewards were used to finance the development and distribution of the equipment that people needed to clean things up, and the more we saw success in the efforts of these early adopters, the more money was staked, the more the reserve asset was purchased and the more equipment could be financed. People thought that the bubble of the carbon price would collapse, but because of the fixed supply of the reserve asset, such a collapse turned out to be pushed further and further ahead of us on the timeline. We still hear chicken little every once in a while, but the data doesn’t show that will happen. A well designed system of value management can do this easily. We just had to trust the market of ideas to come up with a solution. Imagine trusting people again. It’s amazing.